Home Travel guides Creating Lasting Memories: The Top Family Holidays in Scotland
Travel guides

Creating Lasting Memories: The Top Family Holidays in Scotland

Scotland Landscape Scenery

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here.

As a travel enthusiast and a parent, I understand the importance of family holidays in creating lasting memories. Scotland is a great destination for a family holiday, with its stunning scenery, rich culture, and friendly people. In this article, I will share with you the top family holidays in Scotland, including the best destinations, activities, accommodation options, food, and drink options, as well as tips for planning, budgeting, and packing for your family holiday in Scotland.

Benefits of Family Holidays in Scotland

Family holidays in Scotland offer numerous benefits, including bonding opportunities, quality time together, and exposure to different cultures and experiences. Children can learn about history, geography, and nature while having fun and creating lasting memories. Parents can relax and unwind while enjoying the beauty of Scotland’s landscapes and cultural attractions. Family holidays can also be a great way to escape the daily routine and reconnect with each other in a new and exciting environment.

Top Family-Friendly Destinations in Scotland

Scotland has many family-friendly destinations, each with its own unique attractions and activities. Some of the top destinations for family holidays in Scotland include:


Edinburgh is a beautiful city that offers something for everyone. Families can explore Edinburgh Castle, the Royal Mile, and the Scottish Parliament. Other family-friendly attractions include the Edinburgh Dungeon, Dynamic Earth, and the National Museum of Scotland. Edinburgh also has many parks and green spaces, such as Princes Street Gardens and Holyrood Park, where families can enjoy a picnic or a walk.


Glasgow is another great destination for family holidays in Scotland. Families can visit the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, the Glasgow Science Centre, and the Riverside Museum. Glasgow also has many parks and playgrounds, such as Kelvingrove Park and Pollok Country Park, where families can relax and play.

Isle of Skye

The Isle of Skye is a magical destination that offers stunning scenery and outdoor activities. Families can explore the Fairy Pools, the Old Man of Storr, and the Quiraing. Other family-friendly attractions include the Talisker Distillery and the Skye Museum of Island Life. The Isle of Skye also has many beaches and coves, such as Staffin Beach and Coral Beach, where families can enjoy water sports and beach activities.

Loch Ness

Loch Ness is a legendary destination that offers a mix of history, nature, and adventure. Families can visit Urquhart Castle, the Loch Ness Centre and Exhibition, and the Nessieland amusement park. Other family-friendly activities include boat trips on Loch Ness, cycling along the Great Glen Way, and hiking in the surrounding hills.

Family Activities in Scotland

Scotland offers many family-friendly activities, both indoor and outdoor, that cater to different ages and interests. Some of the top family activities in Scotland include:

Hiking and Walking

Scotland has some of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and hiking and walking are great ways to explore them. Families can choose from a range of easy to moderate walks, such as the Water of Leith Walkway in Edinburgh, the West Highland Way near Glasgow, and the Fairy Glen in Skye.


Cycling is another popular activity in Scotland, with many dedicated paths and routes. Families can rent bikes or bring their own and cycle along the Caledonian Canal, the Speyside Way, or the Loch Ness 360° Trail.

Wildlife Watching

Scotland is home to many unique and fascinating wildlife species, such as red deer, otters, puffins, and dolphins. Families can go on wildlife watching tours, such as the Mull Wildlife Tour, the Dolphin Spirit tour in Inverness, or the Cairngorm Reindeer Centre.

Museums and Galleries

Scotland has a rich cultural heritage, and families can learn about it by visiting museums and galleries. Some of the top museums and galleries for families in Scotland include the National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum in Glasgow, and the Culloden Battlefield and Visitor Centre in Inverness.

Accommodation Options for Families in Scotland

Scotland has a wide range of accommodation options that are suitable for families, including hotels, hostels, cottages, and campsites. Some of the top family-friendly accommodation options in Scotland include:


Many hotels in Scotland offer family rooms and suites that can accommodate up to four or five people. Some hotels also offer children’s menus, babysitting services, and kids’ clubs. Examples of family-friendly hotels in Scotland include the Apex Grassmarket Hotel in Edinburgh, the Hilton Garden Inn in Glasgow, and the Kingsmills Hotel in Inverness.


Hostels are affordable and fun accommodation options for families, especially those with older children. Many hostels offer private rooms and shared facilities, such as kitchens and lounges. Examples of family-friendly hostels in Scotland include the Castle Rock Hostel in Edinburgh, the Euro Hostel in Glasgow, and the Inverness Student Hostel.


Cottages are ideal for families who want more space and privacy, as well as self-catering facilities. Many cottages in Scotland are located in scenic areas and offer outdoor space and amenities, such as gardens and BBQs. Examples of family-friendly cottages in Scotland include the Glen Nevis Holidays cottages near Fort William, the Family Cottages in Skye, and the Highland Holiday Homes in Inverness.


Campsites are perfect for families who love outdoor activities and adventure, as well as budget-friendly accommodation. Many campsites in Scotland offer pitches for tents, caravans, and motorhomes, as well as facilities such as showers, toilets, and laundry. Examples of family-friendly campsites in Scotland include the Edinburgh Caravan Club Site, the Loch Ness Shores Camping and Caravanning Club Site, and the Torvaig Caravan and Camping Site in Skye.

Food and Drink Options for Families in Scotland

Scotland is famous for its traditional cuisine and drinks, such as haggis, whisky, and shortbread. However, Scotland also offers many family-friendly food and drink options that cater to different tastes and preferences. Some of the top food and drink options for families in Scotland include:

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips is a classic Scottish dish that is loved by everyone, including children. Many restaurants and takeaways in Scotland offer fish and chips, as well as other seafood dishes, such as mussels, scallops, and salmon.

Pizzas and Burgers

Pizzas and burgers are popular fast food options that are widely available in Scotland. Many restaurants and takeaways offer pizzas and burgers that are made with fresh and local ingredients, as well as vegetarian and vegan options.

Ice Cream and Sweets

Scotland is famous for its ice cream and sweets, such as tablet, fudge, and shortbread. Many ice cream shops and sweet shops in Scotland offer a wide range of flavours and varieties, as well as vegan and gluten-free options.

Soft Drinks and Juices

Soft drinks and juices are healthy and refreshing options that are perfect for families. Many cafés and restaurants in Scotland offer soft drinks and juices that are made with natural and organic ingredients, as well as Scottish brands and flavours.

Planning Your Family Holiday in Scotland

Planning your family holiday in Scotland can be exciting and challenging, especially if you have different interests and preferences. Here are some tips and resources that can help you plan your family holiday in Scotland:


Research is key to planning a successful family holiday in Scotland. You can use online resources, such as VisitScotland, TripAdvisor, and Lonely Planet, to find information about destinations, attractions, activities, accommodation, and food and drink options in Scotland. You can also read travel blogs and forums, as well as watch YouTube videos and Instagram posts, to get inspiration and advice from other families who have travelled to Scotland.


Budgeting is important when planning a family holiday in Scotland, as it can help you avoid overspending and financial stress. You can use online tools, such as Budget Your Trip, to estimate your expenses for accommodation, food and drink, transportation, and activities in Scotland. You can also look for discounts and deals, such as family packages, early bird offers, and last-minute deals, that can help you save money.


Booking in advance is recommended for family holidays in Scotland, especially during peak seasons and holidays. You can use online booking platforms, such as Booking.com, Expedia, and Airbnb, to book your accommodation, transportation, and activities in Scotland. You can also contact local tour operators and service providers, such as taxi companies, bike rentals, and guided tours, to customize your itinerary and get local insights.

Packing Tips for a Family Holiday in Scotland

Packing for a family holiday in Scotland can be challenging, as you need to consider the weather, the activities, and the preferences of each family member. Here are some packing tips that can help you prepare for your family holiday in Scotland:


Scotland can be rainy and windy, especially in the Highlands and Islands, so it’s important to pack waterproof and windproof clothing, such as jackets, trousers, and boots. You should also pack layers, such as sweaters, fleeces, and thermals, as the weather can change quickly. For outdoor activities, you should pack comfortable and durable clothing, such as hiking boots, trainers, and wetsuits.


Scotland can also be sunny and bright, especially in the summer months, so it’s important to pack sunglasses, hats, and sunscreen. You should also pack insect repellent, as some areas in Scotland have midges and ticks. For indoor activities, you should pack books, games, and gadgets, as well as chargers and adapters.

Food and Drink

Scotland has strict regulations on food and drink imports, so it’s important to check the guidelines before packing any food or drink items. You can buy local and fresh food and drink in Scotland, such as bread, cheese, and fruit, as well as water, juice, and milk.

Conclusion and Recommendations for the Top Family Holidays in Scotland

Scotland is a wonderful destination for family holidays, with its stunning landscapes, rich culture, and friendly people. Whether you choose to explore the cities, the islands, or the highlands, you will find many family-friendly destinations, activities, accommodation options, and food and drink options that cater to different tastes and preferences. To make the most of your family holiday in Scotland, you should plan ahead, budget wisely, and pack smartly. I hope this article has inspired you to create lasting memories with your family in Scotland.


If you’re planning a family holiday in Scotland, why not book with us? We offer a range of family-friendly accommodation options, as well as tours and activities that cater to different ages and interests. Contact us today to start planning your family holiday in Scotland.

Written by
David Prior

David Prior is an NCTJ-qualified journalist and the editor of Big Family Breaks. He is also a father of five and an experienced traveller, especially with kids.

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Articles

Family on a weekend vacation
Travel guides

Unwind with Your Family: Top 5 Weekend Breaks with Kids

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. As a...

Harbor in Norfolk
Travel guides

From Beaches to Castles: Top Attractions for Family Holidays in Norfolk

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. As a...

Family on a holiday vacation
Travel guides

Experience the Ultimate Family Getaway in Scotland: Top Destinations to Visit

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. As a...

Family on a Holiday
Travel guides

The Ultimate Guide to Large Family Holidays: Destinations, Activities, and Accommodation

This post contains affiliate links. Read the full disclosure here. As a...